As-Salamu`Alaykum Sisters, 

The Muslim-Mums network has been created for muslim mothers who would like to learn more about raising and educating children within the correct Islamic lifestyle and upbringing Insha'Allah.

It is also a portal for parents and parents-to-be to ask questions and advice pertaining to Islamic parenting.

The children of now are the future. There is nothing greater than giving your child the best upbringing you can because this will essentially shape them into the adult they choose to become; the decisions they make and the path they will follow.

We are told that the children of Adam (as) leave everything behind when we return to our Lord, with one of the exceptions being a pious child who remembers and prays for you. Let us take this opportunity to help ourselves and others so we all leave this world with our children remembering us in their prayers.

Raising a Muslim child is a great responsibility that requires a lot of time, effort, and du'aa. It also requires us to understand the vast differences between raising a good child and raising a good Muslim child who understands and practices Islam. It is very important to note this difference from the first moment of our child's life, or even before his birth. This knowledge will help us obtain a clear vision about our goals and, subsequently, about the best ways to achieve them.

Some parents raise their children to be polite and respectful, without really connecting these virtues to the teachings of Islam. They teach their children how to respect grown-ups, because "it is the polite thing to do"; to be kind to younger children because "polite kids are not to be mean to little children"; and not to lie because it is "not good to lie"; and so on. Though there is no doubt that it is virtuous to raise a polite child, is that all that we want? Is that our only goal?

By comparing one family who chooses to raise a good child to another family whose goal is to raise a good Muslim child, we will notice vast differences between the two. If a parent's goal is to raise a Muslim child, he/she should start thinking about this child even before its birth by choosing a Muslim partner who practices the religion and who knows how to encourage children to be good Muslims. In this case, the father and the mother should work together, from the very beginning, to achieve their goal. They will then be able to expose their child to its religion by following the Sunnah and the advice of the Prophet (SAW).

They will also connect good manners to Islamic teachings in a simple that implants the love and the fear of Allah into the child's heart. They will tell Islamic stories that help teach the child how to choose his/her examples and models. They will also be aware of setting good examples so that their child can have honorable role models.

Simultaneously, they will teach their children about "halal" and "haram" (permissible and forbidden) and "Janah" and "Nar" (Paradise and Hell). By that time, the child will grow up as a good Muslim who understands his/her religion. He will be ready to pray because he has seen his family praying and may have even stood with them in prayers at an early stage. They will not need to exert much effort in encouraging him to fast because they would have exposed him to fasting and Ramadan at a young age.

When this child grows up, it will be clear to him that Allah (SWT) has created us to worship Him and that this life is not an eternal home, but a place where we spend a period of time and are tested by Allah (SWT). Therefore, the child might be more prepared to be patient during painful moments and be more thankful in moments of happiness because his parents taught him that "iman" (faith) is divided between patience and gratitude.